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A Chinese Classic Journeys to the West: Julia Lovell’s Translation of “Monkey King”

EXCEPT FOR THE one error I spotted on its cover, Julia Lovell’s new translation of Monkey King: Journey to the West is the best English edition of the classic Chinese fantasy novel, Xi You Ji (literally “west journey record”), I have ever read. If you wish to understand why Monkey King has been a fixture in Chinese popular culture for no fewer than five centuries, then look no further. Pick up this edition and you will join the 1.5 billion people who, to paraphrase Neil Gaiman’s comment on the tale, share in their DNA an intimate knowledge of the havoc-wreaking Monkey’s herculean journey westward to find a special collection of Buddhist sutras in India. Read more

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